Milford Daily News — In an effort to improve post-hospitalization care, Milford Regional Medical Center will be using a $75,000 grant to become a part of a state electronic health information exchange network.
The grant will help set up a pilot program where physicians can share medical records and discharge information for patients with home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities, specifically with grant partners Medway Country Manor Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation and CAREtenders.
“I think with health care reform perhaps the most critical aspect is having effective information systems. Unfortunately, it is one of the most complicated, as well,” said Frank Saba, CEO of the Milford Regional Medical Center.
Saba and other local health and elected officials were celebrating the grant on Tuesday.
The grant was awarded through the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, a quasi-public entity that will distribute federal and state health IT funding to implement a five-year plan that will result in a statewide health information network, called the Mass HIway.
“This will transform the way all of us get health care,” said Laurance Stuntz, director of the Massachusetts eHealth Institute.
Stuntz and others praised state Sen. Richard Moore for his work advocating for health funding.
“It’s great to see this getting rolled out and actually benefitting the people I serve,” Moore said.
Moore said he sees the new system as a safer, more efficient and less costly way to deliver care.
“The system will help share critical information that can save lives – and save money in the process,” said Moore, noting shared medical records save the unnecessary time and money spent on duplicate testing.
U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III praised Moore’s work for helping make Massachusetts a national leader in health care.
“Innovation and cooperation on the local level are more important than ever and these advancements at the local level are going to fuel change across the country,” Kennedy said.
Nicole Heim, chief information officer at the Milford hospital, said the grant money would pay for the hospital and its partners to connect to the state system and buy software.
“We’ve been looking for an opportunity to improve communication between Milford and these home care facilities,” Heim said. “This will support our effort to reduce avoidable readmissions.”
Heim explained that often post-care instructions given on paper are lost or don’t make their way to next facility a patient goes to. With the new system, instructions are automatically transferred electronically, helping improve communication and assisting patients' families who now won’t have to worry about remembering paperwork.
Contact Lindsay Corcoran at 508-634-7582 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LacorcMDN. Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/blog/healthconscious/x946753072/Milford-hospital-joins-state-HIway#ixzz2ZQgzRSew
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